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Mai Tais: All My Drinking Friends Have a Sailing Problem

Two of our best friends, JD and Susan, have a J122 that they keep on Lake Texoma. For about half the year, we race. The other half, JD and Susan are happy to have us up for a night or a weekend.

The only cost of admission is (i) food and (ii) drink. I really think that Susan was the inspiration for the Finding Nemo fish, Dory (“Fish are friends, not food”). And JD, unfortunately, shares my philosophy regarding alcohol: “Life is too short for cheap booze.” So, we don’t do fish on the boat, but we do drink well.

Next week, they’re going to be gracious enough to take us and our nephew out for a sail. Because it’s almost sailing season again, I suspect all the pots and pans will be off the boat. And although JD and I would both be content with just a bottle of Anniversario rum, Jenn and Susan don’t think that straight rum is acceptable.

Therefore, I think that we’ll make laab gai spring rolls and mai tais: easy to eat, tasty to drink.

Laab Gai (with props to Beth, who gave me the recipe originally)

What you need:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 jalapenos (or serranos, or similar peppers), minced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/8 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger root, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp fish sauce (to taste)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce (again, to taste)
1 tbsp rice cooking wine
1/4 cup lime juice
Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
cucumber and carrot, julienned
Spring roll wrappers

What to do with it:

Chop up your chicken in a food processor. Basically, you’re going to be making ground chicken. Boil it until it’s cooked, then drain.

Put it in a bowl, add everything else except the cabbage, and mix. Once you have the flavor balance you want, refrigerate for an hour or so.

Prep a spring roll wrapper (place in warm water for about 8 seconds, removing before you think it’s ready). Drop in a little cabbage, a couple tablespoons of laab gai, roll and enjoy.

Mai Tais

What you need:

1 ounce gold rum (I use Cruzan)
1 ounce spiced rum (meet my friend, Sailor Jerry)
1/2 ounce amaretto
juice of 1/2 key lime
3 drops Angostura bitters
small pinch allspice
2 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

What to do with it:

Mix it.

Pour it over ice.

Drink it.

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